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Kia kaha te reo Maaori

Tenaa kotou kaatoa and hello to you all Waikato District, 

It has been a busy start to September here at Council with several committee meetings (hui) taking place and the current round of six-weekly community board hui happening across the district. Remember you can always find out more about what Council events are taking place in your community here on our website and you can also learn more about the various committees of Council and what they are set up to do for our communities.  

Next week we’ll be regrouping with one of our newest advisory groups who are working with us here at Council to make sure that there is a diversity of voices being heard in our chambers. As one of Council’s engagement mechanisms with the rural economic sector in the Waikato District, the Rural Economic Advisory Panel provides advice, a sounding board, and a stronger rural voice to Council to support good Council decisions and outcomes.  It is also a framework for Council to share information to keep our rural stakeholders informed of Council issues and decisions. Being better connected to our local communities is something that I am focused on and committed to, whether that’s attending a school prizegiving, community AGM, or community service groups across the district. If it matters to you then it matters to me. If you have an event that you would like to invite me to attend, please email me the details and I will be delighted to consider it -  

Mahi (work) continues across the organisation in preparation for our next Long-term Plan (LTP). I have spoken with you before about how, every three years, Council sets about developing the LTP in consultation with you, our community and we’re right in the middle of the current process. The LTP is a key strategic planning document that sets out the agreed community vision, work plans and budgets for the next 10 years; refreshed every three years with a view to the next decade, to make sure it continues to be fit for purpose.  

On top of this, each year we must complete a budget plan to review how we will continue to fund the projects, services, and facilities that we provide. The 2023-24 Annual Plan (budget plan) covers Year 3 of the current 2021-31 Long-Term Plan. You can take a look at the Annual Plan here on our website. You can also check out our list of LTP projects in progress and stay up to date with developments on our dedicated LTP projects page.   

You’ll notice that this time I have been using a few more te reo Maaori words than usual. I wanted to do this to not only mark Te Wiki o te Reo Maaori that kicks off on Monday (11 September) and celebrates the indigenous language of Aotearoa, but to highlight our own special reo that we use here in the Waikato and the home of the Kiingitanga.  

Here at Te Kaunihera aa Takiwaa o Waikato (Waikato District Council) we are proud to recognise the reo of our Mana Whenua whose tikanga is to use double vowels and not the more standardised approach of macrons. You may notice this when you receive communications from Council and now you know that this is a sign of respect for our Mana Whenua and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It’s something that’s quite unique to us here in the Waikato and another thing that sets us apart from the rest! Kia kaha te reo Maaori!  

Ngaa mihi nui and warmest regards, 

Mayor Jacqui Church